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Botanist Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Botanist. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Botanist
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Botanist Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Botanists, sometimes referred to as plant biologists, study the biology, diversity and distribution of all kinds of plants, algae and fungi and the way in which they interact with each other and their surroundings. Their research is applied in areas such as conservation and management of natural resources, agriculture, forestry, horticulture, medicine, biotechnology and food science.

There are many specialisms in botany, including the study of specific groups of plants, plant anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, ecology, marine botany and taxonomy (the identification and classification of plants).

In order to conduct laboratory experiments and carry out field studies, a wide range of techniques and equipment are used, such as electron microscopes, radioisotopes, digital imaging analysis, polymerase chain reaction, cell and tissue culture, telemetry and satellite imaging. Once the data has been collated and analysed, botanists present their findings in scientific reports.

Botanists may supervise and coordinate the work of technical support staff, and work alongside other scientists in the development of medicines and other plant products, as well as in public health and environmental protection. In addition to research, many are involved in teaching roles in universities.

Hours and Environment

The working week tends to be around 35 hours, although this varies according to the project being worked on some processes may require continuous monitoring which will include unsocial hours.

Botanists working in modern, well-equipped laboratories use computers and other complex pieces of technical equipment. Field work may involve lengthy periods away from home and extensive travel, often overseas.

Skills and Interests

To be a botanist you should:

  • be interested in nature and the environment
  • have a thorough knowledge of science, particularly biology and chemistry
  • be able to conduct detailed work accurately and methodically
  • be inquisitive and able to plan research, analyse and interpret data, and write reports
  • have practical skills and the ability to devise solutions to problems
  • have patience, perseverance and the ability to concentrate for long periods.


A degree is the minimum entry requirement for most positions as a laboratory technician or technical assistant. Relevant subjects include botany, plant biology, plant science, environmental science and ecology. Entry to a degree course requires two or three A levels/four or five Highers, including biology and at least one other science plus five GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) including maths, English and science subjects.

For details of qualification equivalents see:

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
Scottish Qualifications Authority
An Access to Higher Education qualification may also be accepted for entry to certain courses. If experienced in a related field, you may be able to gain recognition of skills through Accredited Prior Learning (APL). Please check with colleges or universities for exact entry requirements.

A postgraduate degree and often a PhD is required for teaching and research positions.


After completing a first degree, training in one of the many botany specialisms is delivered through postgraduate study in university research departments. The trainee works on a research project alongside senior research colleagues, and develops the skills and determination necessary for sustained individual research. After producing a thesis based on their findings, the student is interviewed at length about the work, and a PhD or other qualification may then be awarded.


Botanists are employed by government research institutes, universities, conservation organisations, private businesses involved in biotechnology and medicine production, in agriculture and horticulture, and in the food and leisure industries.

Some botanists embark on careers in museums and botanical gardens, in scientific journalism and illustration, and in teaching. Others move into marketing, management, administration, commerce and computing.

There are opportunities for botanists to work overseas.

Annual Income

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

Recent graduates employed as technical assistants receive around £18,400 a year.
Botanists in research posts earn up to £27,400.
Senior lecturers in botany at universities may be paid up to £40,000 a year.

Salaries for those working in private industry will vary considerably.

Further information:

Institute of Biology
20 Queensbury Place
Tel: 020 7581 8333

Other Useful Botanist Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Botanist job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Botanist Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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